Cause-Related Marketing Pioneers:
American Express Restore the Statue of Liberty
MPSM603 Cause Marketing
September 4, 2014
Objective and Target
The objective of this campaign was to transform the usage of cards from a medium of mere purchasing things for an individual needs to a medium of way to do charity for a cause such as restoring the historic monument. Also, the efforts to support locally based charitable causes in a way that also promoted business (PSA research 1983). In 2011, Cone added citizens in nine other countries to its research and found that ‘‘consumers globally believe companies have an explicit responsibility to help change the world.’’ (Kotler, Hessekial & Lee, 2012.) By this observation American Express had two visions to fulfill. Apart from their target to increase sales and market share, it was also a way to increase public awareness of the importance of historic and environmental conservation.
Partners, Their Backgrounds, and what each brings to the table Their partners are The National Trust for Historic Preservation and The Watch List, The World Monuments Fund. The National Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring America's historic landmarks and communities. As the presenting partner of National Treasures, American Express provided the National Trust with a $2 million grant to help to protect the nation's architectural, cultural and natural heritage sites at risk of destruction or irreparable damage (American Express, 2013). The other partner is the site “World Monuments Fund Watch List” which integrates historic preservation, sustainable tourism management and visitor education. American Express has been an unwavering supporter of the World Monuments Fund and its mission to safeguard the most treasured landmarks around the globe. Over the last 15 years, American Express has helped preserve 154 sites in 70 countries, including sites from the World Monuments Fund Watch List, as well as sites who received sustainable tourism grants (American Express, 1995).
American Express paved the way for cause-related marketing programs with their groundbreaking campaign to restore the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York (Hirsch & Gordon, 2013.) Their strategy for this program was geared by purchase-triggered donations, now a widely-used cause-related marketing practice (Stole, 2006.) Rather than writing a check for a lump sum of money to donate, American Express pledged to contribute a penny for each credit card swiped and a dollar for every new American Express account created over a four-month period (Kotler, Hessekial & Lee, 2012.)
Implementation, Tactics & Roles of Partners
According to an article written by John Welsh—who was then the head of worldwide marketing of American Express—the tactics used for this campaign were based on a “clear business vision” (Welsh, 1999.) One of his tactics was to act locally, which can more likely motivate a consumer to participate in cause-related marketing programs (Welsh, 1999.). For instance, New York is one of the most populated cities in the United States, if not the world. The people of the Big Apple would be more open to support their own landmarks, Lady Liberty and Ellis Island. However, since the Statue of Liberty is a national icon, this did create more of a symbolic, emotional appeal across the United States (Welsh, 1999.) It was a win from a local level to a nationwide level. Another tactic used was American Express’ tangibility towards the cause. Based on my observations according to Welsh, consumers are more interested in giving when results are going to be visible. They would prefer gradually-attained victories than disappointments due to high expectations (Welsh, 1999.) At the end of this four-month period, the restoration campaign did generate successful...
References: Retrieved on September 2, 2014, from
Retrieved on September 2, 2014, from
Retrieved on September 2, 2014, from
“Corporate Responsibility: Initiatives,” American Express, http://about.americanexpress.com/csr/pip.aspx, (accessed September 1, 2014).
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